• Christian Praise and Worship

    Christian Praise: Where is God?

    Where is God?

     

     

    Christian Praise becomes much easier for us when we realize How Big God really is and how much He truly loves us.

    A few years ago, Bette Middler had a hit song called “From a Distance” which won a Grammy for “Song of the Year” in 1991. The words were nice and gave us the feeling that we were not alone in this world, that indeed God was watching us from a distance.

    It’s a lovely platitude but it doesn’t really tell us where God actually is.

    Christian Praise can be hard to muster up if we only believe in a God somewhere up there in the sky who looks down on us once in awhile. It may be a nice thought to some, but it doesn’t do much else except to give us a few warm and fuzzy feelings.

    God is very much a part of your life and He chose it to be that way. He doesn’t just want to be God, He also wants to abide in You. He wants be your friend.

    Abraham was called God’s friend, because he took the time to walk and talk with God.

    Adam had direct communion with God in the Garden, before Adam and Eve got banished for their sin. Many scholars believe because they were banished that communion with God was cut off, but this does not make sense if Abraham was considered God’s friend. Maybe there wasn’t direct communication as in the garden but there had to be some type of communication in Abraham’s day. We can only speculate what that was.

    One thing is clear though. In the old Testament the Spirit came upon the prophets. In the New Testament the Spirit is in us. Why the difference?

    It is because of Christ’s death on the cross that the barrier between God and us can be breached.

    John 14:16-20 (kjv) says:

    16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

    17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

    18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

    19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

    20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

    God loves to commune with us and the best way to bring in His presence is with Christian Praise.

    God abides in the praises of His people.

    Psalm 22:3 (kjv) says: But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

    God is not some Sugar Daddy in the sky that we make requests to and wait for Him to grant them. He is so close to us that we cannot truly describe it in proper words.

    Paul Put it this way:

    Acts 17:28 He is not far from us, for in him we live and move and have our being.

    Every particle of yourself is in God and God is in every particle of you.

    Jesus said in John 14:21-28

    Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

    Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, (then) what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?”

    Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.

    Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.

    I have told you this while I am with you.

    The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name–he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you.

    Obedience to God pic

     

     

    If You Love Me, Keep my Word.

     

     

    Knowing this, Christian Praise should come freely from your heart and lips as you marvel at the Greatness of God who comes to inhabit the very people He has purchased with the blood of Jesus. If we love Him and obey His commands, He will make His dwelling with us. Hallelujah!

    Where is God?

    God is in me, and you, if you love Him and keep His commandments.

    One of my favorite songs from years gone by is “How Big is God?”

    The lyrics to this song are:

    Though Men May Strive To Go Beyond The Reach Of Space
    To Go Beyond The Distant Glimmering Stars
    This World’s A Room So Small Within My Master’s House
    The Open Sky But A Portion Of His Yard.

    How Big Is God, How Big And Wide His Vast Domain
    To Try To Tell These Lips Can Only Start
    He’s Big Enough To Rule This Mighty Universe
    Yet Small Enough To Live Within My Heart.

    As Winter Chill May Cause The Tiny Seed To Fall
    To Lie Asleep Till Waked By Summer’s Rain
    The Heart Grown Cold Will Warm And Trod With Life Anew
    The Master’s Touch Will Bring The Glow Again.

    How Big Is God, How Big And Wide His Vast Domain
    To Try To Tell These Lips Can Only Start
    He’s Big Enough To Rule The Mighty Universe
    Yet Small Enough To Live Within My Heart.

    Here is the version from YouTube


    (BLACKWOOD BROTHERS: HOW BIG IS GOD)



     

  • Christian Praise and Worship

    Christian Praise vs Christian Worship, What’s the Difference?

    Christian Praise and worship Lifting Holy Hands
    If you were invited to a Christian Praise Service or a Christian Worship Service you would find that they are two different types of Song Services. Generally churches combine the two and call them “Christian Praise and Worship Services”. This keeps the confusion down, but in actuality Christian Praise and Christian Worship are two distinct things.

    As a Christian Praise and Worship Leader for many years I always taught the congregation about the differences between Christian Praise and Worship. Let me define Christian Praise and Worship here for you.

    • Christian Praise can be defined as focusing on what God has done in our lives.
    • Christian Worship can be defined as focusing on Who God IS.

    We can see a great example of Christian Worship in the following Praise Scripture :
    Revelation 4:8-12
    Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”
    9. Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever,
    10.the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
    11. “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

    Compare this to this example of Christian Praise in the following scripture on Praise:
    Exodus:15:1-21
    1Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
    2The LORD is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation: He is my God, and I will prepare Him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
    3The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is His name.
    4Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hathHe cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.
    5The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.
    6Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
    7And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sendest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.
    8And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.
    9The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.
    10Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
    11Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
    12Thou stretchest out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them.
    13Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.
    14The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina.
    15Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away.
    16Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.
    17Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O LORD, which thy hands have established.
    18The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.
    19For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.
    20And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
    21And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.
    The above passage shows us that after God had brought the Israelite’s safely through the Red Sea and drowned the Egyptians Moses took up a song of praise extolling the wonders of what God had done on their behalf.

    Those Scripture verses define Christian Praise very succinctly. This would be considered a Christian Praise song because it focuses on what God has done. Miriam and Moses are praising the Lord because He has bought them safely to dry land. They continue giving praises to God because of His wonders that He has performed.

    We sing this at church. It’s called “The Horse and Rider Song” You can see the lyrics and hear the acapella version my other post here.

    I hope this example has been clear to you and hopefully it will help you to understand the difference between Christian Praise and Christian Worship.

    photo credit: Bill Lollar via photopin cc